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Death - Human CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 376 ratings

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3 stars Death was the influential metal band of late guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Chuck Shuldiner. They were part of the death metal scene in Florida that was associated with producer Scott Burns and his studio. This is the first album of Death I have heard. I was aware of them and had seen the video for "Lack Of Comprehension" but didn't pay much attention to most death metal when it was new. I always thought of death metal as a more brutal and extreme form of thrash but with worse vocals. Chuck's vocals are not typical death growls but more in between yelling and screaming.

This album features two future members of Cynic, whom I like a lot more than Death. This is basically extreme/death metal by the numbers but this band pretty much invented this stuff anyway. There are nonetheless detectable proggy moments here. The proggiest and maybe- not-so-coincidentally best songs are the aforementioned "Lack Of Comprehension," the great instrumental "Cosmic Sea" and "Secret Face." It's not until the fourth song, "Secret Face," that I start hearing anything I would call 'prog'. A lot going on, changes quite a bit. The most interesting song on the album from a compositional point of view. The soloing is really good here as well.

I've always loved the quasi-jazzy beginning of "Lack Of Comprehension"; nice mix of jazzy guitar chords, fretless bass and phased cymbals. The best 30 seconds on the whole album. The rest is good too. "Cosmic Sea" took me totally by surprise. Wasn't expecting something that good and proggy sounding here. It begins segued from the last song...always a good thing. Opens with New Age style synths. I like the synthetic choirs. Features some metal soloing and funky/fusion-y bass playing. Almost sounds Zeuhl(!!!) at one point. Great symphonic metal for awhile. Love the spacey synths in the middle. Towards the end is some cool altered sounds which sound awesome.

The next best song to those three is the opener "Flattening Of Emotions." Apparently, the albums before this are less proggy and the ones after more so. I may have to investigate. I couldn't listen to this kind of music all day in the 1990s and I can't now. I can see why this band and album is much liked by metalheads. It's not the proggiest thing on Earth but there are moments here and there which are usually pretty good. I'll give this a 2.5 and round it up to 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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